Andre Dawson said he is "disappointed" that the Hall of Fame has decided to have him wear a Montreal Expos cap instead of a Cubs cap when he is formally inducted July 25 in Cooperstown, N.Y.
As first reported in the Tribune on Tuesday night when Dawson sent a text message after the annual B.A.T. Dinner at the Marriott Marquis in New York, the 1987 National League Most Valuable Player will join former Expo Gary Carter as that former franchise's only Hall of Fame representatives.
"The Hall had made the decision that they were going to allow themselves some time to make a determination," Dawson said Wednesday on the "Waddle & Silvy Show " on WMVP-AM 1000. "And I obviously felt that it was probably something that it would give me the benefit of the doubt and at least consider the Chicago Cubs.
Photo: The Hall of Fame ruled that Andre Dawson will wear an Expos hat on his plaque. (Jeff Golden/AP)
"I know the difference in the 10 (full seasons in Montreal) and six years (with the Cubs) probably was something of consideration on their part. But I tried to explain... perhaps the impact of what really catapulted me to Hall of Fame status and pretty much what my preference was. I think their decision had been made and it was a little gut-wrenching for me to hear that. But it was their decision and I respect that. From there I guess I will move on.
"I'm disappointed. I can proudly say that, because Chicago was my preference," said Dawson. "I thought I would have had a little more input. ... I would carry or merit some sort of weight. But, again, I received a letter prior to the voting and it was my understanding that they would make the determination."
The Hall of Fame Museum made the decision official Wednesday morning through a press release.
"The plaque of BBWAA-electee Andre Dawson will feature an Expos logo, though the Cubs, Red Sox and Marlins will all be listed as other teams for which he played," the statement read in part. "Veterans Committee electee Whitey Herzog's plaque will feature a Cardinals logo, and the Royals, Rangers and Angels will all be listed. The plaque of fellow Veterans Committee electee Doug Harvey will not feature a logo on his cap, as the ninth umpire elected to Cooperstown.
"The choice of which team logo appears on a player's plaque is the Museum's decision, though the wishes of an inductee are always considered. As the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is a history museum, it is important that the logo be emblematic of where the player made his greatest impact. A player's election to the Hall of Fame, however, is a career achievement. As such, every team for whom he played is listed on the plaque."
Dawson, whose major-league career spanned 21 seasons, spent his first 11 years in Montreal (1977-1986), recording 1,575 of his 2,774 hits as an Expo, while winning six Gold Glove Awards, finishing in the top 10 in Most Valuable Player voting three times, collecting seven seasons of 20 or more home runs, stealing 30 or more bases in four seasons and recording three seasons with a batting average of .300 or better. Dawson was named the 1977 N.L. Rookie of the Year in Montreal and led the Expos to their only postseason series win with a five-game victory over the Phillies in the 1981 N.L. Division Series.
Dawson also played six seasons in Chicago (1987-1992), winning the 1987 N.L. MVP while earning five All-Star Game selections, before logging two years with Boston (1993-1994) and two seasons with the Florida Marlins (1995-1996).
"Andre Dawson's Hall of Fame career belongs to every one of his fans, in every city across the country," said Jeff Idelson, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. "The logo selection is only important from an historical standpoint, as the Museum has a responsibility to properly interpret the game's history. Every Hall of Fame plaque lists all of the teams where an electee played or managed. Fans of 'The Hawk' in every city in which he played should claim Andre as one of their own."
Dawson's official statement issued by the Hall of Fame also acknowledged fans in Montreal, Boston and South Florida.
"I respect the Hall of Fame's decision to put an Expos logo on my cap, and I understand their responsibility to make sure the logo represents the greatest impact in my career," Dawson said in a statement. "Cubs fans will always be incredibly important in my heart, and I owe them so much for making my time in Chicago memorable, as did the fans in Montreal, Boston and South Florida, my home. But knowing that I'm on the Hall of Fame team is what's most important, as it is the highest honor I could imagine."